The Collegian
Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Club squash competes in national championship

<p>Richmond men's club squash team has grown considerably in recent years, senior Jon Patteson said.</p>

Richmond men's club squash team has grown considerably in recent years, senior Jon Patteson said.

University of Richmond’s club squash team traveled to Trinity College in Connecticut on Feb. 20-22 to participate in the 2015 Men’s National Team Championships, where it placed 45th in the country.

Senior Jon Patteson said that during his freshman year there were virtually no members of the club squash team when he joined. He said that it was just him and couple other students hitting every now and then, but there was no legitimate program. However, in the last two years there was an influx of players and the team began traveling to tournaments and even competed in their first national tournament last year.

The team’s record this year was 7-7, qualifying it for the national tournament through the College Squash Association. The Richmond club team is ranked higher than many varsity squash teams at competing schools, Patteson said, which is impressive considering the program's revamping.

At Trinity, the club team played Washington University in St. Louis and Bryant University and won both matches 8-1. Richmond also played Boston College, but lost the match 6-3.

According to team members, the squash courts in the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness are not regulation size so the team practices elsewhere.

The 12 team members practice twice a week at Westwood Country Club, but someone is usually hitting every day, sophomore Ryan Gabriele said. The team has no university-sponsored means of transportation to Westwood, so team members carpool with each other to the club, Gabriele said.

Next year the team is also getting an official coach, which they do not have at the moment, Patteson said. Catalina Peláez, who played on Trinity’s team and was ranked fifth in the nation, is working through Westwood to coach the team next season, Patteson said. Peláez, a native of and representative for Colombia, is currently ranked 74th in the world for Women’s Squash, according to the Women’s Squash Association.

Gabriele and Patteson both expressed how supportive team members’ parents were to the team this season. “Half the parents even came to the national tournament in Connecticut,” Patteson said.

“I think that having gone up to nationals and having half the team’s parents come out and host us shows me how great hands the team is in now,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to play with.”

With this recent season going so well, members of the team are hopeful for the next year with a professional coach. “The team had a very impressive season,” Gabriele said. “To be nationally ranked demonstrates the strength of our program and I feel like it will only continue upwards in future seasons.” 

Contact reporter Carney Judge at carney.judge@richmond.edu

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